Want top pay? Then maybe you shouldn't run for governor

Public service, rather than salary, may be the main motivation for some state governors, three of whom return their pay to the public treasury, according to the website, which is devoted to state government and funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts. Governors essentially working gratis, of course, don't really need the money. They are California's Arnold Schwarzenegger (R), whose $206,500 salary – the highest in the nation – is turned back, Tennessee's Phil Bredesen (D), and New Jersey's Jon Corzine (D), who accepts only $1 a year. The lowest gubernatorial salary is $70,000, in Maine, which has kept the status quo for 20 years. The average salary for all 50 governors is $124,398. The states with the highest and lowest governor's salaries, and the respective amounts:

California $206,500
New York 179,000
Michigan 177,000
New Jersey 175,000
Virginia 175,000

Maine $70,000
Arkansas 80,848
Tennessee 85,000
Colorado 90,000
North Dakota 92,483

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